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Yes, you can. To conduct the dismissal properly, begin by collecting evidence of the employee’s poor work attitude. We receive an extremely large number of consultations from employers wanting to know how to handle employees with poor work attitudes or behavior. What is important in dismissing an employee with a poor work attitude is to keep a record of that attitude as the cause of dismissal. Regarding dismissal, the Labor Contract Act stipulates the following (Article 16): “A dismissal shall, if it lacks objectively reasonable grounds and is not considered to be appropriate in general societal terms, be treated as an abuse of right and be invalid.” Unless specific facts on when and what happened are presented accurately, objectively reasonable grounds and appropriateness in general societal terms may not be recognized and as a result the dismissal may be rendered invalid. Keeping accurate, detailed records of the facts is the starting point in all cases.
Examples of Potentially Problematic Dismissal Dismissal of Non-Compliant Employee When the validity of the dismissal of a non-compliant employee is disputed in the courts, it is very important to have evidence not only of the employee’s non-compliance but of the efforts that were taken by the company up until the dismissal. In other words, it is important that the company not simply dismiss the employee immediately on the grounds of work attitude but that there be repeated efforts, etc. to get the employee back on track by altering his or her job description, giving persistent warnings or instructions, or issuing reprimands as a disciplinary action, etc. When consulted by a company considering dismissing an employee, we provide specific advice on how the company should handle matters prior to dismissal and the records it needs to prepare.
We provide advice on preparations before dismissal of an employee. Lawyer Nobuhito Okiyama
Employment Termination with Fixed-Term Labor Contracts There has been a rapid rise in consultations related to terminating employment at the end of fixed-term labor contracts. Even with this type of contract, if it’s been renewed multiple times and the employment period has become prolonged as a result, the contract can be regarded effectively as an employment contract without a term provision, making it necessary when terminating employment to have objectively reasonable grounds and for the termination to be appropriate in general societal terms, the same requirements as for regular dismissals. Improper termination of employment can be a source of trouble that ends in a lawsuit, so companies need to be cautious. Companies should make early decisions on which employees to terminate and when.
Early handling is the key to resolving issues Lawyer Chie Ikeda
You do not need to respond to every demand the union makes. Unreasonable requests should be handled resolutely with a lawyer serving as your representative.
It is not necessary to negotiate on matters unrelated to the employment conditions of employees. Also, executives or members of upper management do not necessarily need to attend every collective bargaining session; it is possible to request a lawyer to attend as an agent. It is sufficient if managers capable of responsibly handling the matters being negotiated attend, or if qualified persons (an agent) capable of effective negotiations attend. However, depending on the nature of the matters being negotiated, it may not be possible for anyone other than the executive in charge or member of upper management to respond, so in such cases, special caution is required to prevent the situation from being seen as a refusal to bargain. Examples Related to Collective Bargaining
Negotiations to Reduce Personnel Expenses
“Our personnel expenses are high and putting pressure on our business, so I want to reduce them, but hesitate when thinking about negotiating with the union.” We will sometimes receive consul tations like this one. Some companies are half-resigned to the fact due to the perceived difficulty of reducing personnel expenses, but if there are reasonable grounds, reductions are very much possible. Our firm can do the following for clients in this situation. We carefully investigate the company’s financial position, create a scheme for lowering personnel costs in stages based on an approximately 5-year plan, conduct collective bargaining as the company’s proxy, and explain in strong terms the company’s financial situation to the union. We then are sometimes able to obtain the union’s consent and make it possible for the company to reduce its personnel expenses.
We attend collective bargaining on behalf of the client. Lawyer Jin Watanabe
Negotiating with Outside Unions
We receive consultations like this as well: “Some employees joined a general trade union instead of the company union, but since we conduct collective bargaining with the company union, is it true we can’t turn down collective bargaining requests from outside unions?” Yes, this is true. A company must treat outside unions the same as the company union. However, it is not necessary to respond to every request a general trade union may make. Basically, it is the same as with a company union, and with regard to matters unrelated to the conditions of employment, it is not necessary to enter collective bargaining. However, with company unions, good results are sometimes obtained by expanding the scope of discussions. Differentiating the company union from other unions in a sophisticated way can also help smooth labor relations.
When negotiating, an understanding of the rules is an imperative Lawyer Yuki Tsutsumi
It can be stopped by issuing a temporary injunction to prohibit propagandizing.
Our firm handles various lawsuits and arbitrations, but for cases in which urgency is a factor, before such legal procedures are taken we recommend civil preservation procedures; specifically, temporary injunction and seizure. For example, when an urban district is being developed or a new corporate office building is being built and some leaseholders on the land or tenants in the existing building refuse to vacate and the project is delayed to a substantial degree, we have experience in utilizing a decisive temporary injunction to have the property vacated in a short period of time. We have handled an extremely broad range of temporary injunctions, including injunctions to suspend business execution by directors, stop the exercise of voting rights by shareholders, and for provisional payment by banks when requesting payment of frozen deposits. Civil preservation procedures are a race against time, so it is also possible to issue the injunction on the same day as the request when the cooperation of the party making the request is obtained.
Examples Related to Temporary Injunction and Seizure
Prohibiting Propaganda Activities
Malicious propaganda activities are sometimes conducted in front of the homes of company or school representatives. Our firm has gained a great deal of knowhow in prohibiting extremist propaganda how activities by certain groups. Specifically, a temporary injunction order may be issued that bans propaganda or assembly within a certain radius of a company or private home, and if the injunction is violated, the party is not only fined ¥1.0 million per instance but the propaganda itself is stopped by seizing the microphones, amplifiers, banners, flags and other implements used in the activity. Our firm has an extensive track record in decisively removing organized crime groups, malicious labor unions and extremist political organizations from companies and universities.
We can prevent propagandizing with highly effective temporary injunction orders.
Lawyer Hiroaki Kuniyoshi
Handling Improper Refusal of Payment A venture company’s main bank may sometimes freeze its deposit account and prevent payments on the grounds that the company’s prospects are questionable. In such cases, we can petition the cour t to issue a temporary injunction for temporary payment so that the main bank must immediately pay the deposit amount to the venture company. We have succeeded in having such orders issued exactly as petitioned. For the company, not being able to use its deposit account at its main bank is a very serious situation that can lead directly to its bankruptcy. However, the normal judicial process can take over a year, even for the initial lower court ruling, and during that time a venture company may very well face bankruptcy. To fight one’s own main bank takes courage, but in this case the decision can save a venture company from the crisis of bankruptcy.
Choosing a quick and appropriate temporary injunction can save a company.
Lawyer Masaki Kurosawa
Claimants that obstruct business can be issued a letter of warning from a lawyer, first of all. If they do not stop, a temporary restraining order can be issued or compensation for damages can be demanded on the grounds of obstruction of business—in any case, the response must be resolute.
Opinions and complaints from customers are invaluable as feedback to a company’s services and absolutely indispensable to improving services. However, in recent years, more than a few people have begun to make improper claims that exceed the bounds of common sense, such as accusations on trivial matters or demands for excessive compensation. When companies conscientiously handle even such improper demands, their business operations may be obstructed or an unnecessarily large economic burden may be imposed; it can also have a serious impact on employee morale. Gaining know-how on how to resolutely address improper demands and repel them in the legally correct way is essential for sound corporate management.
Examples of Preventive Measures for Claimants
Legal Action Against Unreasonable Demands
We handled a case involving a series of claims made by hospital patient. The person was first notified in the lawyer ’s name to immediately stop making the unreasonable claims. The claims did not stop, so the person was taken to court to confirm the absence of obligation. Confirmation of the absence of obligation is a legal action that involves having the court confirm that there exists no obligation to pay the damage compensation demanded by the other party. Such an action is a means for forcibly establishing a venue for the party making the unreasonable demands to assert and prove the legal validity of those demands. It serves as a strong deterrent against unreasonable demands made by the other party. A winning settlement was reached through the court, and the claims stopped when the action was taken.
Repel unreasonable demands with proper legal knowledge.
Lawyer Tomoko Sano
Unreasonable Demands without Hope for Out of Court Negotiations
This particular case involved repelling the unreasonable demands of a person who ordered home renovation work. The person demanded high-quality materials that differed from the original quotation. Unreasonable claims like this were made daily via email, and the construction company, tired out both physically and mentally, came to us for help. Our firm felt there was little hope for discussion, so after diver ting the other par ty through content certification, we immediately took the case to court, and the case was quickly resolved. For cases involving unreasonable demands, it is often impossible to negotiate out-of-court unless the other party has legal representation, but it is possible to quickly take legal action and calmly conduct procedures in writing through the court to eliminate the burden on the client and swiftly resolve the case.
Quick legal action is key.
Lawyer Yukio Imazu
Preventive measures in advance and recurrence prevention measures after the fact are both important.
As people have become more aware of compliance, the general public has become much more critical of corporate scandals, such as those involving violations of the law, harassment, personal information leaks or engagement with anti-social forces, and companies are sometimes affected to the extent that their survival is threatened. For this reason, companies in normal times need to prepare preventive measures beforehand and recurrence prevention measures after the occurrence of crises. Our firm can make proposals not only for compliance training but also for measures to minimize a company’s losses should a scandal occur.